CA weighs up plan to rest Aussie Test players

December 21st, 2008 - 2:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec 21 (ANI): Australia is all set to take the radical step of rotating players from the Test side for the first time in 130 years as Ricky Pontings squad faces a tough playing schedule.

Key stakeholders in Australian cricket have raised the issue of resting players from the Test arena to minimise the risk of burning out of elite cricketers, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The move has the support of coach Tim Nielsen, who said: Id like to think all of our contracted players will be up for grabs for any game we need.

The world champions face an enormous test of endurance over the next 15 months, playing up to 86 international matches across three forms of the game.

Between now and March 2010, Australia are scheduled to play 20 Tests, 54 one-day internationals and as many as 12 Twenty20 fixtures.

The controversial rotation policy was first implemented during Steve Waughs captaincy, although it extended solely to the one-day outfit.

But the exhaustive demands of tours to South Africa, England and India next year has influential figures considering the prospect of players sitting out Test matches.

Former Test skipper Greg Chappell, now head coach of Australian crickets Centre of Excellence, said a squad mentality was vital to cope with the workload.

I think it (rotation policy) is something everybody will have to consider. I can”t say too much more because it’’s a discussion being had behind closed doors at the moment, Chappell said.

The overall program adds to the workload. Players cant expect to play the whole program; maybe we have to look at a squad mentality where players are rested from time to time. Players will have to be part of the discussions and solutions will have to be found, he added.

Nielsen said Cricket Australia would leave no stone unturned to ensure the fitness of Test stars over the next 15 months.

He added resting players from the Test side would be a secondary concern to reducing training workloads if a player showed signs of fatigue. (ANI)

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